Co-founder & CEO at BACE, a Ghanaian financial technology company, Charlette N’Guessan, has emerged winner of the 2021 Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize for engineering innovation.
Ms. N’Guessan and her BACE APIs, a facial recognition and Artificial Intelligence software to verify identities remotely won the prize which seeks to stimulate, celebrate and reward engineering entrepreneurship in Sub-Sahara Africa, after being shortlisted together with two Ugandan and one Nigerian tech giants as the four finalists.
For her prize, the female entrepreneur would take home £25,000 ($33,000) while her three runner ups would be awarded £10,000 ($13,000) each.
She would also receive support in the form of a grant and subsequent training as alumni of the Academy.
The Academy in a statement said fifteen engineering entrepreneurs from six sub-Saharan Africa countries were shortlisted Africa Prize Entrepreneurs.
They were among other things provided with eight months of training and mentoring, during which they developed their business plans and learned to market their innovations.
Out of the number, four including Ghana’s Charlette N’Guessan, and her facial recognition software, API, Nigerian Aisha Raheem’s digital platform which provides farmers with data to improve their efficiency, and Uganda’s Dr. William Wasswa and David Tusubira, who presented a low-cost digital microscope speed up cervical cancer screening software and a system that manages off-grid power grids by monitoring the condition of solar arrays respectively, were shortlisted as the finalist with the API emerging as the winner.
The Academy noted that the API whose purpose was to make work easier for institutions that rely on identity verification was already being used by two financial institutions to verify customers’ identities.
“The software uses live images or short videos taken on phone cameras to detect whether the image is of a real person or a photo of an existing image”
BACE Group is a Ghanaian fin-tech company that provides digital services to financial institutions.
With their APIs, the company provides the institutions with the platform to verify the identity of clients who patronizes their services.